PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Providence has hired former Fairfield coach Ed Cooley to replace the fired Keno Davis.
Cooley, who led the Stags to a school-record 25 wins and a MAAC regular-season championship this year, coached his final game at Fairfield on Sunday, a 72-68 loss to Kent State in the second round of the NIT.
“We are very excited to have Ed Cooley coming to Providence College,” Father Brian Shanley, Providence’s president, said. “I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Ed, and I believe he is the right person to lead our men’s basketball team. We conducted a thorough search, and during that process, Ed Cooley was the coach that consistently met our selection criteria.”
Cooley was named the coach of the year in the MAAC this season, and the Stags (25-8) were on their way to the NCAA tournament automatic bid, when they were upset by St. Peter’s 62-48 in the league tournament semifinals.
A Providence native, Cooley left an assistant job at Boston College to take the Fairfield position in April of 2006. He struggled in Year 1, going just 13-19. But his final three seasons were all above-.500, and he finished with a 92-69 record. He won 60 conference games and landed in postseason play his final two seasons with the Stags.
“Ed Cooley did a great job rebuilding Fairfield into a consistently strong program,” athletic director Bob Driscoll said. “Each season, his team showed improvement, and the win totals increased. Throughout this process, he used hard work and dedication, and that is part of what makes him a good fit for Providence College. I saw knowledge, passion and commitment that is necessary to lead our men’s basketball program.”
Davis was fired two weeks ago, after just three seasons on the job. He had coached just one season previous to that post, at Drake. Providence went 15-17 this season, and just 4-14 in the Big East. His Friars, who finished 14th in the league, seemed disinterested in the first round of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden, when they were beaten soundly by Marquette 87-66.
Providence hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2004, and hasn’t won the conference tournament since 1994.
Cooley, 41, will be introduced at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday on campus.
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